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Linköping University Spearheads AI-Powered Circular Economy Project in Swedish Manufacturing

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Linköping University, in collaboration with industry giants and academic partners, has embarked on a transformative journey to revolutionize the Swedish manufacturing industry. Funded by the Swedish Innovation Agency (Vinnova), the Catena-D project aims to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital threads into resource management, fostering a circular and resource-efficient economy.

Project Objectives and Approach:

  1. Addressing the Information Gap: A key challenge in transitioning to a circular economy is the lack of efficient information systems. The Catena-D project focuses on developing an infrastructure to harness data across product lifecycles, vital for viable circular business models.
  2. Concept of Digital Threads: Central to this initiative is the concept of digital threads, ensuring a continuous flow of product information from design to disposal. The project seeks to validate and prototype these digital threads, tailored for the circular economy.
  3. Industry Collaboration: Volvo Construction Equipment and Bosch Thermoteknik offer diverse case studies, covering various stages of product lifecycles. Their insights are crucial for understanding real-world challenges and opportunities.
  4. Addiva's Practical Solutions: Addiva's involvement brings in pragmatic software technology solutions, enhancing the project's applicability in actual industry scenarios.
  5. Academic Expertise: Linköping University leads the project with its expertise in environmental technology and management, focusing on circular economy principles. Mälardalen University contributes its knowledge in artificial intelligence, essential for incorporating advanced technology into the project.

Expected Outcomes:

The Catena-D project aims to demonstrate the transformative potential of AI in resource management. By establishing a successful model for integrating digital threads and AI in manufacturing, it expects to set a precedent for sustainable and economically viable business practices within a circular economy framework.

Project Funding and Coordination:

The project has been granted six million SEK from Vinnova, with Linköping University taking the lead as coordinator. Professor Tomohiko Sakao, who is spearheading the project, envisions it as a success story for trans-disciplinary research and a stepping stone for the Swedish manufacturing industry towards sustainable circular economy practices.

Final Insight:

The Catena-D project represents a significant stride towards embedding sustainability in the manufacturing sector through AI and digital technologies. This collaborative effort between academia and industry is poised to reshape the landscape of circular economy practices, setting a new benchmark for resource efficiency and environmental stewardship.

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